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October 21, 2007

Is Assassinating The Israeli Prime Minister Part Of The Peace Process?

One would think that a person harboring assassins committed to killing their opposite number in a negotiation would be cause for doubting that person's commitment to 'the process’. But in this case we’re talking about the Palestinians and they get an unending number of mulligans.

According to meeting participants, (Shin Bet Director) Diskin said Palestinian gunmen had planned to attack Olmert's convoy as it entered the West Bank town of Jericho on Aug. 6 for a meeting with Abbas. Diskin told the Cabinet the gunmen were linked to Abbas' Fatah movement, said the participants, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.

While Abbas oversees official Palestinian security forces, he has little control over extremist armed groups, including those loyal to Fatah, which frequently act counter to his efforts to reconcile Israel and the Palestinians.

Diskin did not say how close the militants were to carrying out the plot, and it was not clear why Olmert was allowed to proceed on his trip if there was a threat to his life.

In Jerusalem, Palestinian Prime Minster Salam Fayyad played down the incident, saying Olmert was never seriously threatened. He said three suspects were arrested, and only released after three months of questioning.

"The interrogation did not reveal according to our security services anything that was imminently dangerous," he said. Nonetheless, Palestinian officials said they re-arrested two of the men last week under Israeli pressure.

Israel on the other hand says that the plotters were members of the PA security forces and have confessed to the plan.

The plot was foiled during the summer but that hasn’t stopped Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from living in a dream world. Just this week she announced:

the United States "sees the establishment of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution as absolutely essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests."

If Abbas can’t control people affiliated with his own party and possibly his own security forces (assuming he wasn’t in on it), what’s the point in dealing with him? He can’t control Fatah but we’re supposed to believe he can get Hamas to buy into any deal he makes?


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posted by DrewM. at 06:56 PM

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